Monday, August 15, 2011

Steve Pilgrim vs The World

So, lagging behind the cool people by a year or two, I only got round to seeing Scott Pilgrim vs The World last Saturday on account of missing it at the cinema on it's initial release and my wife kindly buying it for me on DVD for my birthday (which was last Saturday).

This isn't going to be a film review - other than to say this was one of the best and funniest films I've seen for a long time and if you dig geek cool and computer games and kung fu then this is the film for you. Oh and chicks with pink hair. If you're into chicks with pink hair you're going to love this film.

No, what this post is going to be is a revelatory experience along the lines of: oh my God, my life has curious parallels with Scott Pilgrim, the eponymous hero of the film reviewed in thumbnail above.

I'd like to undercut the shock of this statement a little by doffing my cap at verisimilitude and pointing out that no, I don't have a catholic Japanese High School aged girlfriend (who goes to a school that insists on its students wearing school uniform) and I am not two-timing her with a cool chick with pink hair who has seven deadly ex's whom I must battle for the right to continue dating her.

Because, let's face it, that's taking this whole geek-cool thing a step too far. Real life just isn't like that.

But I do feel like I have to battle seven deadly hexes to get to where I want to be. Hence the poor excuse for a comparison that probably won't stand up to too close a scrutiny, so please don't even try.

Hex 1) lack of motivation. This is my biggest failing. I need a power-up already just to put this baby to bed. It's not like I don't want to do stuff. It's just that sometimes I don't want to do it now. There's always tomorrow, right? Wrong. Tomorrow just got here and I still haven't done the stuff that I want to do. Don't even get me started on the stuff that I have to do.

Hex 2) lack of focus. I'd never make a good Sith Lord. I don't have enough anger or focus or mind power to visualize what it is I want to do with my life other than write. Now writing is fine if it pays. Until then I need to be doing something that at the very least fulfils me just a little bit and doesn't bend my sanity out of shape in the process of paying for the food on my table. But can I visualize something that I want to do? Can I heck. It's all furry, smudgy and out of focus. It feels like Darth Maul has sneezed all over my glasses.

Hex 3) Lottery dependence. This is probably a direct result of Hexes 1 and 2 above. It's like looking for life's cheat code. The short cut to the top. The secret level where you can just do what the hell you want and you can laugh at the bosses rather than having to fight them. Trouble is when you depend on the cheat codes you don't play the game properly and hone your skills and do stuff for yourself. Cheat codes are bad, people. They cheat nobody but yourself. And that's about as meaningful as this post is going to get.

Hex 4) lack of admin skills. Doesn't sound such a big thing, does it? But it's something that trips me up everytime. Organization. Order. Due process. I can write the novels. I can write the poetry. But following the steps needed to get my superlative material out to agents or onto Kindle has my feet tangling themselves up worse than Chris Penn's plates of meat in the original version of Footloose, (you know, the one with Kevin Bacon and Julie from Fame in it).

Hex 5) penchant to daydream. My CV address has my mail sent to cloud cuckoo land, I swear. Sometimes I'd just rather reinvent the world around me inside my own head than face up to the trolls, demons and baddies of reality. Trouble is, while I am blissing out, the trolls, demons and baddies are kicking my butt.

Hex 6) lack of nerve. Sometimes I just bottle it. Sometimes I have it all there - the comeback, the punchline, the plan of action - but I fail to engage. Is it worth the hassle I ask myself? Is it worth the short-term trauma? The answer in the big school hall of life is yes, it is worth it, you dumb-ass but in the moment I say "no, it isn't worth it; I just want a peaceful life, man." Wrong choice. A peaceful life isn't always synonymous with inner peace. Shit. I just got all meaningful again.

Hex 7) me. Or to be exact: Nega-me. I am my own worst enemy. I am the end of level boss I need to face and just like Scott Pilgrim maybe I need to take him out. Not as in punching his brain through the back of his head but as in taking him out for a drink. Taking him out on a team building exercise somewhere. Maybe paintballing in the Forest of Arden. I'm a pretty good shot. Maybe we need more quality time together. Male bonding. That kind of thing. A new rebel alliance needs to be forged.

There. Mission accomplished. Game completed. Job done.

Now excuse me whilst I chase after that chick with pink hair...


London City (mum) said...

Okay, I have changed the hair colour.
Still fancy me?


Nota Bene said...

We are Sex Bob-Omb! And we're here to watch Steve Pilgrim kick your teeth in! One-two-three-four!

Marginalia said...

Such insight. Thought of writing an agony column?

Steve said...

LCM: are we talking collar or cuffs?

Nota Bene just earned the sword of coolness!

Marginalia: I have but the screws limit the amount of mail I'm allowed each week.

Bish Bosh Bash said...

Oh no, it appears that you too may have fallen for that… ‘verisimili-dude’ elucidation. Last time I brailed my way over that one, I ended up writing a formal letter of complaint to The Oxford English Dictionary. They promptly wrote back saying they already had their best people working on it, and as soon as they discovered what it meant, they’d have it scratched out of their records for good, and a very nice - “sorry for any upset caused”.

Michael Cera has not just single handedly given ‘cool’ right back to the Geeks again, he’s raised the whole damn bar. ‘Juno’, ‘The Social Network’ (both brilliant), and now ‘Scott Pilgrim’. He’s a cool dude and a first class act to watch. Hail Senator Cera!

As for the rest of all that self synopsis stuff, I’d say you were a perfectly normal and emotionally well adjusted mid life crisis bloke, bloke.

Nothing remotely verisimilitude about you at all Stephen. You’re exactly what you think you are right now. The totally ‘real’ deal. A confused & muddled holiday maker. Capiche!

Just go find a wall and stand on your poor, worried old head there for ten minutes. All you really need is a spot of blood rush. Kay?

Steve said...

Bish Bosh Bash: haven't seen The Social Network as I thought it might be full of and about people I hate but now I know that Michael Cera is in it I might give it a go. I wonder if he'd be my friend on Facebook? Glad to know there is a medical term for my malaise. Mid life crisis blokedom. I reckon I could do that justice without even trying.

Gorilla Bananas said...

So you're a beta male, what's new? If I were the Devil, I'd offer you a lottery win in exchange for taking your boss out while wearing a Japanese schoolgirl's uniform.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: I already have the uniform. Show me the ticket.

Suburbia said...

That all sounds far too familiar... though not the girl with the pink hair of course because I'm not made that way ;-)

TimeWarden said...

Wasn't John Peel a big fan of girls in school uniform, when he wasn't listening to Teenage Kicks by The Underpants?

As for pink hair, just remember the wig Madonna wore for her first appearance on TOTP! And, if you really want me to discourage you, there's always the dire pop star whose moniker is Pink!!

Steve said...

Suburbia: I don't think anybody is... not naturally anyway!

TimeWarden: actually that last really does put me off. Big time. Though nice to know I have something in common with the great John Peel.

Trish said...

Ah, Steve, we're all like this. I certainly am. Have a list of really important things to do today and yet have achieved none. Patricia the Procrastinator, that's me. But I've read your post, so that's now one thing ticked off my list, and a very pleasaurable tick it was too.

Steve said...

Trish: nice to know that I was an item on somebody's "to do" list. You can now consider me done. You've done me. And I am going to boast about that.

Rol said...

And yet, despite all these hexes, you put most of the rest of us bloggers to shame with your prodigious output. That's got to count for something, Steve.

Steve said...

Rol: thank you. Genuinely.